AN OFTEN-overlooked car in the Bathurst history of the legendary R32 model Nissan Skyline GT-R has sold at auction via Collecting Cars for $261,200.
The ‘Godzilla’ in question is the Falken Tyres entry that finished fourth outright in the 1993 Bathurst 12 Hour production car race, driven by Keith Carling, Bill Gillespie and Graham Neilsen.
It was owned by Falken Tyres at the time of the Bathurst campaign and retained by the company until being sold into private hands in 2004.
The Falken GT-R’s appearance in the 1993 12 Hour came just months after Gibson Motorsport scored a second straight win for the Group A version of the Skyline model in the Bathurst 1000.
Interestingly, the Falken car played a minor role in that race as part of its pre-competition history.
According to sales documents, the 1990-built car was one of six GT-Rs sent to Australia for initial promotional and media work, preceding the batch of 100 R32 GT-Rs imported into the country by Nissan.
It was originally painted black and featured on the cover of a variety of motoring magazines of the day. It’s also said to have been the first GT-R to receive a speeding fine in Australia during this period!
The car’s role in the 1992 Tooheys 1000 was that of Safety Car. It was driven on the Sunday by 1986 Great Race winner Graeme Bailey after briefly being steered by Mark Skaife during a practice session.
It was sold by Nissan Australia at the end of 1992 to Falken Tyres for its Bathurst 12 Hour campaign the following April, where the car was run by Falken’s Japanese crew.
Wearing #3 and entered in Class T, the car completed 247 laps in the round-the-clock classic to finish fourth outright, 16 laps behind the winning Mazda RX-7.
Falken used the car for promotional purposes for more than a decade before selling it into private hands; its most recent public appearance coming at the Phillip Island Classic in March 2021.
Said to be the only road-registrable, period raced R32 GT-R in the world, it was offered for sale as campaigned in the 12 Hour and presented with a variety of spares, memorabilia and documentation.
The car has already been relocated to its new home at Sydney’s Autosport Engineering, which specialises in Nissan and Mazda machinery.
“We are now the proud custodians of this R32 GT-R with incredible history and pedigree,” wrote Autosport Engineering’s Greg Boyle on social media.
“We plan on getting her back on the track in the very near future with the goal of her to return to Bathurst where it all begun!
“A big thank you to (previous owner) Craig Phinn for looking after this piece of history and for his huge contribution to her historical memorabilia!
“She is in safe hands and we will continue with her legacy.”